2021 Outlook by Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, CEO Monoova

February 11, 2021

It’s difficult to be original. I, too, write lists at the beginning of years with plans, expectations, and aspirations. I, too, was wrong about 2020 as the year of travel and international expansion and so many other things. But there was one thing on my list that I wasn’t wrong about: ‘there is huge opportunity in payments’.

2020 – the great payment accelerator

In many spheres of our lives, 2020 caused interruptions and hiatus. For the payments industry, 2020 was the great accelerator: long-running behavioural and technological trends were fast forwarded. eCommerce grew faster, credit-card usage shrank faster, adoption of digital wallets was more widespread. For Monoova, 2020 meant roughly 7x growth of monthly revenue and value processed, as well as a doubling of our client base. For the industry as a whole, 2020 showed that a lot of the investment and innovation in payments was useful when society needed it the most.

Payment industry trends for 2021

When we emerge from COVID and pre-pandemic habits return (e.g. travel), last year’s momentum in payments will stay with us. Specifically, in Australia in 2021, I expect we will see three things:

  1. Real-time NPP transactions will be the default option for almost all everyday payments. Real time will cease to be a luxury and become assumed, just like we assume that if someone sends us ‘mail’ they mean ‘email’, not a letter by the post.
  2. Clever use of large volumes of persistent PayIDs will become a serious competitor to BPAY. Why fiddle with biller codes and customer reference numbers when you can have personalised payment details?
  3. The launch of the new Mandated Payment Service (‘MPS’) towards the end of the year will be the beginning of the end of credit cards’ decades-long monopoly on customer-friendly checkouts both online and offline.

Together with improvements in information security and a greater openness to change among the broader public as well as financial institutions and regulators, these three developments will bring about faster, easier, and cheaper payments in 2021.

What’s instore for Monoova

At Monoova, we are at the forefront of making these trends work for businesses in Australia. Already, we automate real-time reconciliation on real-time receivables and payables with our API-driven payments engine. Over the year, we are making additional webhooks, security and reporting features and much more available to our existing offering.

But most importantly, Monoova is gearing up to offer MPS. At its simplest, the MPS is a real-time version of direct debits. But its combination of smart consent mechanisms, real-time flow of funds and the third-party ‘Instructor’ role makes it a game changer for everything from simple eCommerce and wealth management to real estate and custodial services. At Monoova, we will be unlocking a wealth of use cases to businesses.

So, as I write my list for this year, I am sure I will be un-originally wrong about many things. Maybe I won’t write all of those thank-you letters; maybe I won’t go for a daily run. But just like last year, I’ll be right about one thing: this year is going to be the most exciting year on record for the payment industry.

I just need to make sure that I’m right about the next item on the list too: ‘everyone will understand why you are excited about payments’. I’m working on that one.

From me and all of Monoova: thank you clients and partners for 2020. It will seem like kids’ play compared to what we achieve together in 2021.

Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, CEO Monoova

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